Work and Career

When your Co-Worker is a Slacker

Nobody appreciates a co-worker who spends all his or her time, browsing through his or her Facebook feeds, using the office computer or scrolling on his or her mobile phone and texting everyone or yakking on the phone for a whole hour, talking about the weekend that totally rocked. Nobody loves a co-worker who takes two-hour lunches, comes in every day late but leaves the office on the dot. And, nobody wants to work with someone who’s clearly not doing their share of the workload but still gets a paycheck at the end of the month. Here are a few things that you can do to deal when your co-worker is a slacker.

Keep Your Cool

Always remember that it’s never cool to lose your cool. You will not accomplish anything if you go into full meltdown mode. Remain professional and know that how you handle this conflict also says a lot about you as a person.

Try to keep an open mind and avoid jumping to conclusions. There must be some reason behind your co-worker’s behavior. If you let your temper get in the way, you may lose the window that you need to get through. When you want to blow off steam, simply leave the room and wait for yourself to calm down. It’s best to approach the problem without involving emotions.

Talk to Tour Co-worker First

It can be that they are having some personal problems; that’s why there’s a change in their productivity. It can be they’re having trouble with handling a project but are just too shy to ask for help because everyone else is also very busy. It’s also possible that they have a problem with focus and need to do different things all the time just to establish some rhythm. It can be a lot of reasons.

Calling them out on their behavior in a good-natured manner usually does the trick, especially if they’re just distracted. Cite examples of their behavior that disrupted the workflow or impacted output and client relationships. When they’re aware of the consequences of their actions, the usual reaction will be not to do it again.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again

Some people will be more conscious about their office activities after being talked to. Some will carry on like your conversation didn’t even happen. When your co-worker is too distracted to notice that their behavior is unacceptable, try to make some small but significant changes in the workplace to stop them from slacking off.

You can take your lunch breaks in shifts, for example. Make sure that they take theirs first. This way, they know that they have to be back in the office after an hour because other people still have not taken their lunch yet. Suggest rearranging your office furniture so that their office computer is in full view of everyone. This will deter them from doing non-work related stuff during office hours.

When all Else Fails, Tell the Boss

It’s not about being whiny. It’s also not about sucking up to your boss. There are just some things that your boss needs to know about. Things that affect workplace morale and employee productivity. If you feel that you won’t be able to handle the problem on your own, it’s perfectly alright to seek the help of your boss. Just present your boss with the facts and back them up with proof. They are in a better position to counsel and take the necessary action.

Rouselle Isla

Contributor at Kami
Rouselle Isla

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